While others watched the world’s most iconic landmarks go dark for one designated hour as part of this year’s celebration of Earth Hour, I, on the other hand, sat in front of a solar-powered light emitting diode (LED) installation to play a bamboo percussion instrument called the tongatong, which was originally used by the people of Kalinga to communicate with spirits during house blessings.

Pounding the instrument against the ground created a reverberating drone though the instrument’s open mouth.  Its interloping rhythm serving as a pulsating beat that called on people to a perichoretic trance that drew them together to dance in the middle of the circle that we were playing in.

Earth Hour+

Earth Hour is a global grass-roots movement encouraging individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take positive actions for the environment, and celebrating their commitment to the planet by switching off their lights for one designated hour.

Earth Hour 2011 aims to show the actions that people, businesses and governments world-wide are taking to reduce their environmental impact, thereby establishing and encouraging others to join an interconnected global community engaged in dialogue and resource sharing that generates real solutions to environmental challenges.

For Greenpeace, Earth Hour is a timely event to put forward our call for an Energy [R]evolution -- that is the massive uptake of Renewable Energy, coupled with comprehensive Energy Efficiency measures. Because we believe that fossil fuels not only harm the climate, but are a finite resource that would become more and more expensive as sources dwindle. The Philippines should not be hostage to such power sources, especially since renewable sources are indigenous and are abundant.

Going beyond the hour

The switch-off is a call for a sustained and conscious effort to become real agents of change in this struggle against catastrophic climate change. This is a call that goes for the passionate activist, for the religious faithful, for the bleeding hearts and the common folks who came to Malate Church, and to those who simply switched-off for the hour.

This massive and rapid change to our climate is like nothing humankind has seen before. Strong consensus has finally been reached; the scientific community now agrees that climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and it’s already happening.

I sincerely believe that discontent with business-as-usual is the best catalyst for genuine action that makes real and lasting change possible. That’s why personally Earth Hour is a pretext to not stop dreaming of a better world for the millions of us who need it; for sustainable, realistic and compelling ways to use and produce energy; for a green and peaceful future that is not just some remote vision that we cannot reach.

It is a call to act upon our dreams of a better world, a call to go beyond the hour...

Want to go beyond the hour?